Beauty pageants often come under scrutiny for having strict standards for a woman's outer appearance, and that conversation continues over the current controversy regarding Miss Universe Japan. Recently, Ariana Miyamoto was crowned Miss Universe Japan, and since then, she has been on the receiving end of endless racial criticism. You see, Ariana is actually biracial — half-Japanese, half-African American (or a hafu, according to Japanese culture), making her the first multicultural woman to hold the title.
Even though she was born and raised in Nagasaki and speaks fluent Japanese, naysayers believe she isn't Japanese "enough." It's true that her caramel-colored skin is not the typical Asian facade, but no one can deny her beauty is deserving of an award. While Japan prides itself on being a homogenous culture with very little racial mixing, that stance has to change in the 21st century. In reality, the small island country is being infiltrated by diversity — about 20,000 biracial babies are born in Japan each year. So in fact, Ariana is the perfect representative of Japan's future.